If you are selling products through a web-based platform, be that WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento or any other e-commerce platform, this article is for you.
Amazon has come a long way from its humble beginnings as book wholesalers in 1997. Their business model was similar to that of most companies selling their products online and today they have become leaders in every field they venture into. It’s no wonder then, that Amazon is a strong competitor for most e-commerce businesses.
There are a lot of things that go into running a successful online business and there are a lot of things that you can do to create an “Amazon competitive universe”. But what are the important parameters you should be mindful of and which channels should you utilize to compete with Amazon?
Firstly, to understand what Amazon is good at. Secondly, how they run their platform and thirdly, which parameters they used in the past to become one of the highest valued companies in the world.
So let’s take a look back at...
How Amazon started
When Jeff Bezos decided to found Amazon, books were the second biggest product category in the world. The book category contains the most varied selection of items and at the time, that made books “the most attractive product category to sell online,” explained Bezos.
No matter how big a brick and mortar store there is, it could never come close to having an assortment that could offer all existing books. Granted, people were able to go to bookstores and request a book they wanted from the clerk. The clerk would order it and have it in store within a few days. But the question was: why bother go to the store in the first place if you would have to wait to receive the book anyway?
And that is where Bezos saw an opportunity in the market.
Now, you have an idea of how this mastermind was thinking. From the beginning, he was steps ahead of everyone else. Keep in mind that back then, e-commerce was not a thing. At least not as it is today. Nowadays, anyone can easily open a webshop. Platforms like Shopify have templates that make the process very easy and the costs of running a webshop is minimal.
Although running an online business is easily accessible, only a small portion of us think the way Bezos does when deciding what products to sell online.
What made Amazon a success
From the beginning, Bezos put a lot of thought into his business and soon he had the biggest webshop in the entire world. Shoppers could buy nearly every book on Amazon.com
How did he get customers to visit his webshop?
He did what the rest of us do. He started buying Ads on Google. In fact, he bought so many that he was Google’s leading customer for many years. And what’s even crazier, is that Amazon is still Google’s leading customer by far.
Do you know a little company by the name of Expedia? Yes? Okay, then. Can we agree that it is a big corporation and you almost always end on their site every single time you are looking to book a flight or a hotel room?
Try to imagine how much money they spend on Google Ads. They have an annual ad budget of $5.69 million.
Amazon.com (this is only Amazon.com, keep in mind they also have .de, .fr and so on) spends $31.7 million annually.
If that doesn’t blow your mind, then take a look at those numbers again.
In the U.S., the second biggest website ranked by organic traffic is Tripadvisor. Annually, they have 674 million organic visits (Tripadvisor only has one domain, .com)
Amazon.com has 6.28 billion organic visits annually.
What’s to take away from this?
Keep focusing on your SEO and Google Ads.